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tv   Book Discussion on Lost Destiny  CSPAN  August 24, 2015 9:06pm-10:05pm EDT

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he would ever go to a library is of the head a direct order to do so. >> but suddenly everybody who has been discharged has the opportunity to go to college for free on the government's time per coba simultaneously they started to read books while at war and realize they enjoyed doing something a scholarly as reading. with a college education they decided to take a vantage of that. those that got it education the first member to get a college education and then 60 generations continue of going to college.
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this change the way we are as readers in the united states and the way we are educated. for many people if they could read shakespeare in the bottom of a ship and if you could succeed at college you can succeed at life. so i will take questions if anybody would like to ask: [applause] >> are these books available later on in the bay or ride sales?
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>> the answer is yes. what happened is the idea that they were supposed to stay over seas but most people brought to a book or to hold with them because the ride would take two weeks with no military maneuvers that would be boring of the war was over and they kept them as mementos. some people love to the books so much inward desperate to make sure they had access after the war that they would take a group and mailed them home so they would be waiting for them when they got home. sometimes on ebay and other web sites i personally look at them at flea markets but my experience those that are
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a little less popular could be as cheap as the dollar like "the great gatsby" go for the higher prices. >> were there any titles ever decided were not appropriate? >> there was say censorship debacle in congress. a republican in 1944 was as worried as t.r. might win a fourth term and the democratic government would send political propaganda to those of the services and
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that was enough to swing the election so what ended up being passed that had a political viewpoint is that was purchased by a the government said the reading material for distribution to news the troops then all of a sudden they could not be printed as the armed services edition because if you combine you could be fined and the publishers did not want to be arrested for printing but they should censer themselves with the freedom to read as fdr acknowledged. so the publishers decided to wage a war on censorship so
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they use the department's you knew how to get a press release out there with the major american newspaper all talk about how is he in congress was passing legislation to sensor readings on a time of war and within a matter of months they got the legislation overturned and it was amended so they would no longer be prevented from publishing books from that viewpoint they could publish whatever they wanted but that said some of did upset certain groups of people and to and -- in particular was strange fruit and forever amber these were controversial because they had sexual scenes and publishers thought if the
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men want to read books with sex scenes they get them books with the sex scenes but one of the books had been banned and one of the publishers that the army was willing to distribute the banned books to their soldiers. [laughter] there were quoted as saying all you have to do to be published as the armed services addition is to be banned. [laughter] so there was the attempt to censers of the books could not be printed and sent overseas but they were not very successful. >> we are out of time she will be signing copies after
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the presentation. thank you. [applause]
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>> they told us they would take us to shelters to get to us help and they loaded assault on military trucks. then they declare the city of new orleans jefferson parish a warsaw and. and did not seen again we were the prisoners of war. >> you cannot describe it. that is your whole life. all your friends and family and everybody is gone. now still friends and family you don't see any more.
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it is one helluva feeling and you don't forget it for the rest of your life. >> the state level and federal level i voted for you to represent me on bill local level. i don't know where else to go. i don't know what else to do.
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[inaudible conversations] good evening. ire from the carter library i am glad that you are here. we have a wonderful program tonight i encourage you to pick up the sheets this summer they are releasing the book the second book that harper lee wrote. although i wish we kadar here thought third moved next door and she writes about getting to know her is
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called mockingbird next door. also all of march calendar he will also be signing his new book and we have the swimmer who swear from cuba to florida so we have a wonderful list of authors but i am especially pleased to have alan knox the ride tonight to talk about joe kennedy, jr.. who grew up during the '50s and '60s and was caught up in bill whole kennedy campaign as the kid coming home from school i remember then president kennedy the motor cry -- the motorcade going by. he was at the funeral so i have followed them all along
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it to me it is fascinating to hear this story of the kennedy that everybody plan to be the candidate for president. and ed to get a doctorate in english from the university of viral -- i was he has written a brazilian books. he has done a whole series of c0 books gandhi winston churchill, military books eisenhower on leadership and tonight he takes us into a fascinating time of world war ii and perhaps the best known political family in this country's history please join me to welcome alan axelrod. [applause]
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>> thanks for coming. i think just to orient you to the subject of the book that he read two paragraphs of the copy that i wrote by the way. august 12th 1944 eric to one of the most glamorous fortunes with the disgraced former ambassador to great britain and he rode jfk hoisted himself up into our radically modified bomb the mission was part of mission aphrodite a desperate effort to rescue london from the assault by the german
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missiles. the lieutenant general the charismatic leader of the spectacular 1942 tokyo raid tried to install radio control equipment with one dozen tons of high explosives by remote control and into the one site and the catch was life pilots were needed to get the flying bombs off the ground. joe, jr. was the first naval aviator to fly such a mission and what was likely the biggest man-made explosion before hiroshima killed him. so i will read some passages which are strung together but i think will make sense
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that we will get to a the faithful mission itself. 52271 had been modified for radio control in philadelphia there is still plenty of work to be done the aircraft is stripped bare then reinforced to ensure the structure would not be compromised from high explosives. all of the turrets were removed in the gesture intended to give the appearance of was not totally defenseless they were installed in place of the turrets it received a total of white paint to heightened visibility even further very soon early in july james smith met joe
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kennedy the commanding officer at long last explain the mission they began by describing the navy designation of the b24. hal witt was fitted with a system to be radio controlled to glide and a diet it could not take off or land on its own little kennedy airplane would be loaded with 21,170 pounds of torpedo explosives they said this was 12 times the explosive load of the segal
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was bombed the explosives would be carefully tied down and views. his mission would be to take the aircraft up to fly any designated pattern during which he had one crew member would prepare it for handoff to fly the robot plane into way hardened weapon facility on the coast of france. after handing it off kennedy and his crew member would bail at that point in the mission was over. to him before handing off control before bailing out there would have to arm the explosive payload. now joe kennedy arrived at this base with the navy
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shared a small section of rights after for army missions to do the same kind of things into their german facility and had failed miserably and by the time he checkoff a total of six army air corps missions had failed and one pilot mean does he bailed out of the airplane then it was joe kennedy's turn to ruth tried so and vetted by the failures many army air corps personnel which is the raf base made no attempt to the
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small naval contingent lieutenant-colonel had a more professional attitude was interested in the navy's approach if you walk up to the cockpit people were impressed to be far more sophisticated than anything the army produced but then what was called the arming panel a very makeshift circuit board made out of plywood he turned to the commander. this looks like something you would make with lincoln logs. forest is not the electronics expert but he knew a brutal joint in screwing a plywood circuit
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board invited a mess of short circuits in he knew what a piece of junk looks like and they appreciated the success of the mission the lives of the air crew held the life and limb the everyman on the air base he grilled as good nature the as he could but all he could say is it came straight from the aircraft of philadelphia it knew what it was doing their product its concerns that gender that evening. the colonel listened he said what to dieter know about the arming panel? to secure a martini credits in their problem.
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the gulf separating the man from the lieutenant colonel is even wider from dividing from the brigadier-general they cannot stop himself and they got around with tons of torpedo explosives but is as safe as a basket full of rattlesnakes. he could have pulled rank that he was out of line but instead after the fresh martini he proposed a toast. to you in your imagination. nobody wanted the navy here in the first place. joe kennedy's own principle
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anxiety had to sources even the army would succeed before he had a chance to fly the mission or the war would end and one source was eliminated when two air corps missions failed miserably and then to have operation aphrodite until such time the new tester system was ready to replace said discredited system. the rationale aboard a robot bomb was twofold. radio control technology was limited. the system that the air force used was not designed to take off on its own and contrast the navy had succeeded to take off and land by radio control but it
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was far from foolproof. that brings up the second rationale no way would anybody trust radio remote control to guide a planeload of explosives off a military airfield that included densely populated cities. even london was not far. so kennedy is waiting to take off day after day goes by. and this mission is the robot plane has to be controlled by the navy by the to control planes. . .
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the party consisted exclusively the way it was segregated among military. even those who formed a human chain between them. the first man lifting the pine box passed it slowly to the next man on the chain. the work was much harder than it looked.
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each box was manhandled but gracefully passed. it contained a small wrapped blocks that looks like butter. at the end of the chain was a man with feet firmly planted on the tarmac with hands extended, palms up waiting to receive each box as it came to him. taking it he would turn to face forward and then slide it on deck of the aircraft. inside other laborers carry each box forward and lower it gingerly into place, one on top of the other filling every possible space. then working back toward the rear of the aircraft.
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it went forward until the end man, caught the bottom of one box and lost his grip. slipped down and fell toward the tarmac. instinctively he caught the full weight of the crates weight on his toe. it it had to hurt but whatever pain he endured, he kept quiet. it had developed from a german recipe, making an old standby with tnt ultrafine aluminum powder that was 50% more powerful than tnt alone.
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together these generated release energy while the aluminum powder made the pulse last longer and enhance destructive force. beeswax was thrown into reduce the sensitivity of the shock on impact. 347 would be loaded into t11. until the detonation of the atomic bomb over hiroshima almost one year later. it would be the single most destructive weapon in military history. they did not wait for the final crates to be loaded.
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he nudged him and said get out of here. t11 was loaded and ready on august 11. he brooded as he listened to a bbc account in the third united states army. he took comfort in the fact that patent was not pushing toward any known d weapon site but doubted the german central coastal troops who defended the site could hold august 12, yet another day and although there was fog, kennedy and and the others noted it was just ground fog rising less than a foot off the earth. the air air felt reasonably dry and there was a likelihood the clouds would part in the skies would clear. joe kennedy and company with simpson went to the officers nest. as the ap breakfast, they heard
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the familiar wine wine of the engine the crew chief was starting his preflight check. the conclusion was inescapable. he had he had been told to prepare for mission that day. holding their own anticipation in check, they finished their breakfast, walked out and studied the sky. the great cloud cover was gone. they pulled up in a jeep to tell joe there was a final briefing at 1500, three, 3:00 p.m. that was hours away. in the meantime, they both bounced from the operational mission, pitched in to perform a thorough preflight focusing on the all-important radio equipment. at 1030, joe was, joe was handed the latest weather forecast. it looks promising and at the
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target at which joe had not yet been informed. not that as jump pile pilot he really needed to know. he he was going to bail out long before the drone went to its target. joe had written to his mother and father on august 4. that was the day after the first four aphrodite stories. i am working on something different he explained at the time. it is terribly interesting but quite secret. per usual, i have done nothing but it is far more interesting than patrolling over the bay. then he wrote a sentence outwardly designed to relay parental anxiety and provoke reading between the line. don't get worried about it as there is practically no danger. he apologized for having volunteered beyond his mission quota but assured his mother he volunteered for about two and a
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half times the mission he was supposed to fly. then he decided to do that on top of it. he assured his his mother and father that when i tell you the whole story, i think you will agree that it was a mission worth staying for. all the boys who did go home now wish they had stayed over. with time on his hands, so much time it seemed at 10:30 a.m., joe phoned mrs. hirst. she was a good friend and keep captain apartment at the london hotel. joe asked her to pass a message. i'm about to go into my act. if i don't come back, tell my dad despite our differences that i love him very much. like so many utterances that and up counting as a person's last, it is both moving and touching. it is also perplexing despite
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our differences, what did he mean by that? it sounds like a statement of a son who had fallen out with his father or vice versa but nothing of that kind happen. before he joined he joined the navy, joe junior had been almost slavish in telling them there was no argument over that issue. while his father wanted to secure him an important yet safe staff appointment, he did he did not protest when joe junior became unable cadet. although he clearly recognize the danger. when he earned his wings, it was joe senior who pinned them on his uniform. perhaps the feeling never put into words that the ex- ambassadors relentlessly public defeatism and what often seemed a contempt for heroism, sacrifice and democracy had forced him into risking his
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life. at 1500, 3:00 p.m., the men assigned to the first mission of sau one, that's special aviation unit one, they gathered in the hut that served as the briefing shed. the two, six man mothership crews were present. the guy who controlled the drone was present and the second was flown by harry weary. also present were the personnel of the auxiliary aircraft. a b-17 flying towards its navigation plane, a p38, a mosquito plane flown by fdr's son assigned to document the bailout and 16 others.
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joe was carefully taking notes on the nepad he would carry with them into the cockpit. they personally delivered the mission brief. joe was already familiar with the outline. he was to take off and climb to 2000 feet over the village which was 23 miles southeast. it was expected that the control plane would establish radio control. even so he would remain onboard as passengers to ensure that control was maintained and fully operational. anderson would turn t11 northeastward buckles. during this time they would continue checking all controls before anderson turned p11 south to the departure point that would take the drone across the
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english channel. as they approach the designated bailout point, he would test the safety with a circuit lamb. lamp. assuming all went as it should, he would squeeze through the nose wheel doorway. this this is the only way out of the modified aircraft. he would follow immediately pulling the manual arming wire just before thrusting themselves through the same doorway. both men would parachute down a short distance north of dover. what i cover elsewhere in the book is they are parachuting to a tiny opening. they are pushing themselves to the opening for the nose wheel and they are parachuting from a plane that is going about 200 miles per hour and that is
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at this point maybe 15 feet above the ground. when paratroopers bailed out over normandy, the plane was going about 100 miles per hour and they were going out a big door, relatively speaking. in the navy's project, the to control aircraft worked together closely. anderson, the primary controller was to dive t11 to an altitude of 700 feet over the channel below the horizon of german defensive radar. anderson then would be within flak range since he was trailing the drone and would be quite close to the coast by the time the shooting started. at that time anderson would transfer control in the secondary ventura. once the transfer was completed,
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the primary would pull off away from the coast. one more crew attended the 3:00 p.m. brewery briefing. this much feared b3 fortress had been the objective of the last sort of aphrodite mission 515 on august 5. it was a mystery at this point. it was rumored to be very possibly a guided missile that could fly across the atlantic ocean and hit washington or new york. it was rumored to be the so-called america bomber which was a transcontinental bomber that could hit target on the american east coast. but what it really was was a 300-foot canon that would be
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terminally in planted in one of these bunkers and that would fire a huge projectile at great velocity because along the barrel were separate charges and it would have enough range to hit london. the idea was that they were going to aim something like 50 or 75 of these guns at london and vomit 247 with high explosives. they could very the range by changing the charge. they would eat up london at this late stage of the war. did the name mean anything to joe kennedy? it was a vanishing populated by no more than 50 souls and easy to overlook.
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he had driven the chrysler converter opel convertible his father had given him. their task including the very survival were quite straightforward. anderson in contrast had to locate the bunker and downline had to guide it into the bunker's main doorway. whether it's massive steel doors were open or not. the target was 15 x 16' and was the one place where the structure was most vulnerable. assuming the bunker could be located they had to use their video image to thread the needle. everything had to be timed with utmost precision. the object object was to contact the target at 7:00 p.m. when the sun, low in the western sky would be
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behind the drone of eliminating the bunker while blinding the flat gunners. they were intensely keyed up when he, joe and the others piled out of the briefing shack. you you got your insurance all paid up he asked joe? he must've read credit it instantly. if a bother joe, he didn't didn't let on. he delivered an answer worthy of a rich man son. i've got twice as much as i need, i don't need it and nobody connected with me needs it. was it an ironic comebacker was of the truth? however he meant it he gave a warm handshake. i won't say handshake. i won't say i'll see you, but so long. the eight u.s. air force launched bombings almost daily. at the launch of the mission, it
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was no every day occurrence. that of 1944 watch the takeoff of the military aircraft. they were fighting were fighting in gave the appearance of democracy itself. all types of people mingling with all the leaders of every branch. everyone was watching. the t11 had been taxied to the stand. the radio expert expert climbed aboard to check the box radio and set the pilot frequencies to those designated for the mission. as as he left, jim simpson climbed aboard to give it a final check.
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the mechanic performed a slow, painstaking walk around. the three men were all expecting to fly this mission and had been bumped by bud willy. whether they resented this are felt the relief we cannot know. what is clear, however is that none of them surrendered stake in the mission. each made himself responsible for ensuring the readiness of the aircraft. perhaps no plane prior to this had been so meticulously, even obsessively obsessively pre-flighted. when they arrived by jeep it must have struck them and the onlookers as. the walkaround completed and they should cans. holding kennedy's hand a moment, brad bradfield said something
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and he acknowledged in agreement. even though the men carried little with them both for their chest pack emergency chute and will he also carried a checklist for the radio control handoff. it was a tight squeeze. their seat packs packs containing their primary parachutes were already on board. joe on the pilot seat and willie secured near the nose wheel doorway. only the pilot had a seat. kennedy and willie climbed aboard the t11. joe took his seat and willie standing behind him began reading aloud the standard preflight checklist. outside they they confirmed all personnel vehicles and other objects were clear of the big bombers for propellers. he then positioned himself and flipped his right thumb up. joe began the sequence in the normal manner.
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the engine turned over just as it should. for 1200-horsepower, just as it should was pretty dramatic. it was an initial growl as it fought inertia and a pitch rose from a growl to a screen. as soon as he saw that, he engaged the engine which coughed loudly and shot a single bolt of flame and black smoke and it roared into life. it was switched on followed by number four and number two and number one. after pausing a second or two to read the instrument and listen to the engine, he laid his fist up to the windscreen, put both thumbs up and jerked them.
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he stepped into joe's view, extended his fist and lift the forefinger of his left hand. it was loaded with the 65000 maximum pound loaded weight. in response he revved the number four engine in the direction of the taxiway. they began a deep drumbeat of a low frequency interference wave. the slow and consistent beep was mixed with the brakes intermittently applied. he snapped a textbook maybe salute. t11 road to the end of the runway.
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first off for the two ventura motherships, one after another. they circled over the feel that 1000 feet. in the primary vent were controlled anderson put the radio control equipment through its paces while t11 stood idling. they had not yet exited the drone and stood behind kennedy to observe the results. when he moved his joystick, this was an innovation in 1944, when he moved the peter stick forward he ran radioed down elevator. in this manner each control command was checked. then joe and willie were cleared to take off. confident that radio control would be est. and be established and they would not be writing 12 tons in vain let alone put putting numbers of englishmen's lives at risk. dementia cans. then he said simply i wish i were going with you if i don't
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come back, you can have the rest of my eggs, referring to the stash in his treasure chest. fresh eggs eggs were like gold in wartime england. joe kennedy made it his business to collect eggs for himself and all his friends so they always had fresh eggs for breakfast. with that he slipped out the nose wheel doorway and trotted out to the b-17 to find across the channel and observe the mission's final stages. along with another another b-17 designated as the navigation plane, several t38 lightning fighters are functioning as observation craft and the total recon mosquito would take off after the departure of t11. most of the mustang fighter escorts took off in groups of three. then it was finally joe's turn.
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while they stood up and there jeep looking on from there runway, joe locked his brakes and throttled up each engine. to an aviator in the era of piston engines, no engine was more important. number two was next, number three and four. they insisted that number three did not sound right. he disagreed. seeing how agitated he seemed, he shouted it's a good thing you're not in that plane but he made it no attempt to restrain the mechanic from jumping out of the jeep and running out the aircraft. he signaled to joe and waved them up and the cockpit.
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he could see bradfield standing next to the seated kennedy. he he saw the mechanic not indicating that this time, at least, number three sounded fine. less than a minute later bradfield rejoined him in the jeep. by now it was approaching six pm. time to take off. the drone was to approach the target within an hour when the sun would be positioned just right. joe wasted no time slamming the t11 into takeoff position but he did not rush the takeoff itself. never a natural pilot, no seat-of-the-pants fire, he he was always methodical in the cockpit. he ran each engine up and down for the third time. a procedure that consumes seven minutes. then he pushed all the throttles forward for full power. it strained against its brakes. joe released them. joe released them. the aircraft rolled forward, accelerating slowly but steady. it seemed as if he would never
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rotate and take off. he watched anxiously as it ate up more and more of the field. in the last few yards of the runway the nose finally lifted off the ground and the wheels reluctantly followed. they watched as they spun in the air before joe, tapping his brakes, stopped them. the radioman, the mechanic became aware of every man watching along the runway. villain in bradfield focused on kennedy and willie's plane straining after it until they could see it no more. the time was 7:52 p.m. 5:52. there was nothing to do but go to the mess hall and get dinner. the two men were relieved that
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the aircraft neither exploded or crashed on takeoff and it had left with plenty of time to get to its target. for once, the gods of war were for once, the gods of war were smiling, it seemed in the mission was off to an excellent start. it was at precisely 18 minutes into the mission that the t11 approach the initial checkpoint signaling the aircraft was trim and autopilot was set and engaged in t11 was there and ready for handoff to the mothership. they switched on the equipment and began controlling it. they steered the rest of the way
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appearing to rise in the sky and the other in the wet stray below. >> where he spoke of a terrific flame was in many pieces. less than a thousand feet, outside home to ms. ada west spent, on married at 44, a woman who enjoyed new delight and conversing with a few neighbors. standing in the doorway she shared with her knees, passing the time of the day was just what she was doing when this guy
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suddenly cracked open. something like white lightning flash so she would have thought it had the were not taught it to think first. ada turned from her mid seven said - from her house, she did not immediately notice the door had been blown off its hinges. her first thought was of her cousin inside, he had come to live with her in shepherd's cottage after a b1 hadn't destroyed his flat in london. there he was, under the front door. stunned to be sure but on hurt. ms. westgate's inventory of loved ones turn next to her aunt and uncle who live nearby on the vent. she figured it was even closer than shepherd's cottage to the source of the cottage, she took hold of her knees and said please go upstairs and fetch her coat she needed to check the house. the girl dashed upstairs. the ceiling is all down she said. that's it. [applause].
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>> this is a great opportunity for you now to ask questions of alex, as i said since we are recording this please wait for the microphone to come. please just raise your hand. >> questions? >> were they bringing joe kennedy to run for oval office, that's a story i i always heard. that they were grooming him rather than his brother john. >> yes. in fact, both joe and rose, his wife, thought that joe junior who was a picture of health had
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a much better chance of surviving into maturity then his sickly brother jack, his younger brother. moreover, based on iq test and performance in school, they thought joe was far more intelligent and jack not so much. they certainly love jack and they gave him a good education but they did not anticipate that he would enter into public life. joe junior was to fulfill the unfulfilled political ambition of his father, these were ambitions that his father had forever destroyed by essentially, while his two years as ambassador to to the court of st. james is saying


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